Online, I rented the most economic little car they had. When I arrived at the counter she was ready to hand me the keys to a Volkswagon Jetta and then said, “Oh, no I can’t give you that car. That was already rented to someone else. I will have to either give you a mini-van or you will have to pay more and move into another car.”
When my major moan and exclamation, “You’re killing me here!” was met with a blank stare by the agent, I knew my angst was wasted on a young person who saw me as an old person who should be content with a mini-van. I realized quickly that I was either going to have to take the mini-van, pay more to Budget for another car, or go out amongst the other rental car desks and take my chances. In retrospect, I probably should have chosen one of those other options, but I was tired and there was a line behind me and only one Budget agent – so I took the keys begrudgingly even after she told me that the full take of gas cost was double that of my original rental. Needless to say, I did not pre-pay the gas – indeed, when she asked me whether I wanted that option my response was a fairly emphatic, “That is not happening!”
I was not happy as I trudged out to the mini-van. I wondered how it had come to this. I am sure it all started when I decided to buy a grown-up car. I sealed my fate. Now I have gone from a sassy, hip glamma in a sporty car to an old grandma in a rented mini-van.
Some might say this is the cycle of life – that I am fighting a battle I cannot win. To that I say – baloney! Well, truthfully, I said something else, but I chose to keep it clean.
I do not want to conform to this notion that what I drive shouldn’t matter. I do not care how comfortable or how many amenities a mini-van has, I do not want to drive one. I have avoided one all my life only to arrive at the Budget Car Rental desk to be dealt this hand.
This was because I was trying to save money. I almost always rent from Enterprise, but Budget’s price was so much lower online that I went with them. Lesson learned. You get what you pay for and I got a mini-van. Never again.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go out and buy a pair of big dark glasses and a floppy hat. And yes, I am aware that with these items and the extra gas cost I will end up spending more when the whole decisionmaking process at the outset was based on paying less. Never fear, I realize that the badge of my stupidity is the big blue mini-van I will be driving the next few days. Lesson learned.
Day one thousand three hundred and sixty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da